Updated at 9 p.m. June 4, 2o15
Dozens of people rallied in a Long Beach park, then marched to police headquarters Thursday, to honor and demand justice for a college student and nationally ranked debate competitor who was shot to death by Long Beach police while unarmed.
The rally began at Lincoln Park at 4 p.m. and came one day after a vigil for 20-year-old Feras Morad was held in Woodland Hills, the community where he lived.
Morad was a nationally ranked debater who was set to attend Long Beach State, a friend has told the Long Beach Press-Telegram.
The Long Beach Police Department on Wednesday released audio of the 911 call that alerted authorities to Morad’s behavior before he was shot.
“He fell out of a second-story window or jumped out,” a neighbor says on the 911 call. “He’s walking around, but he’s very intoxicated and bloody.”
“Is he violent at all?” asks a dispatcher.
“I think he is a little bit violent,” the neighbor replies, adding: “I think we need police also.”
The dispatcher then tells police: “He is drunk, and he is violent; and he’s bleeding heavily.’
Police have said that Morad appeared to be on drugs. Cousin Kareem Morad told the Los Angeles Times that Morad had ingested hallucinogenic mushrooms and had a “bad reaction.
The shooting took place in the 4600 block of East 15th Street near Pacific Coast Highway on May 27, according to the Long Beach Police Department.
An officer was sent to the scene to help Long Beach Fire Department paramedics with Morad, who appeared to be under the influence of drugs and was acting erratically before he jumped out of the window of a second-story apartment, according to police.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that prior to police or fire personnel’s arrival, the suspect was acting erratically and got into a physical altercation with his friends that lasted approximately 10 minutes, according to a police statement. “While they tried to restrain him, he broke loose and jumped through the glass of a second-story window.”
An officer arrived and saw three people in an alley; and as he began to exit his patrol vehicle, one of the three began to walk quickly in the officer’s direction, according to the LBPD.
“He appeared to have a large cut on his body and was covered with blood,” police said.
The officer told the suspect he was there to help him, but the man walked toward the officer, ignoring a command to stop so he could be treated, according to the Long Beach Police Department.
“The suspect advanced more rapidly toward the officer who perceived the suspect was now a threat and (was) going to assault him,” according to the police statement.
“During the next few minutes, the officer utilized verbal commands, an electronic control device, an impact weapon and physical force to gain compliance but was unsuccessful, according to the Long Beach Police Department.
“Ultimately, the suspect again advanced toward the officer, telling the officer he was going to attack him. At that time, an officer involved shooting occurred,” according to the Long Beach Police Department.
Morad’s death has angered friends and relatives, who said the shooting was excessive.
“Any resistance they feel that they can meet with lethal force,” Jordan Menard, who took part in the rally and march today, told ABC7. “And if we don’t stand now when will we stand?”
Some people who participated in debates against Morad traveled six hours from Arizona to show their support for the young man.
The ralliers demanded the release of the name of the officer who shot Morad.
— City News Service